Previously we reported the tragic passing of Guild Wars 2 composer Stan LePard, that has been remembered in the game with a memorial in his honor. Guild Wars 2 composer Maclaine Diemer, and ArenaNets audio director, Drew Cady answered a few questions of ours about Stan, and how he will be remembered among their team.
MMORPG: Stan worked on Guild Wars 2 since 2012. Many players have undoubtedly heard his work but may not have realized it. What are some of Stan's tracks that players might most recognize?
Maclaine Diemer: One of the first pieces he did was for the first Halloween event in 2012 shortly after the launch of the core game. It's called The Lunatic Court, and it's actually based on a VERY short and simple piano sketch that I sent him. What he turned it into is so far beyond what was in my sketch, it's basically a completely new piece. I love how off kilter and whimsical the whole thing feels. Most recently, Stan had a huge part to play in the Icebrood Saga for the latest Living World season. There are a number of contributors to the soundtrack for this season, but Stan wrote the bulk of it. Some of his pieces like Drakkar and Boneskinner have this awesome, frenetic energy to them, as well as his music for the initial announcement trailer of the Icebrood Saga.
MMORPG: Did Stan have a piece of music in his 40 plus tracks for Guild Wars 2 that he was particularly proud of? Is there a track that he created that you feel is uniquely Stan?
Maclaine Diemer: There's a piece called The Edge of the Mists that I think he really liked. It was originally written for a trailer announcing that area of the game when it was introduced. The trailer was scrapped, but Stan had already written the music for it. We got a chance to record it live a couple of years later and it's now playing as an ambient piece when you are in that map.
MMORPG: Working with an industry veteran like Stan who had worked on many games, it's hard not to learn and grow from working alongside someone like that. How do you think Stan's presence has influenced the team?
Maclaine Diemer: Stan was such an accomplished composer and orchestrator before he ever became part of the GW2 team. For me, he really helped put my mind at ease in the earliest stages of my composing career as we were starting to incorporate live orchestral recordings. He helped assure me that what I was writing wasn't unplayable nonsense, and if there was something I was doing wrong, he would gently and patiently help me make it better. That kind of thing is invaluable when you start to record live because the stakes are so much higher in terms of the money it costs and the number of people involved. I was terrified of wasting the studio's money and a lot of people's time, and Stan helped calm my nerves. On a creative level, he brought sophistication to his musical contributions to the game. I can sometimes default to simple things harmonically and melodically, because that's what I like, but Stan had a way of weaving in really interesting chord changes, melodic movement, and rhythms that were more advanced while keeping things stylistically consistent with the rest of the game's music. That kind of thing still inspires me to push myself a little more when I'm writing, and I'll never be able to thank him enough for that.
Drew Cady: It was always nice to collaborate with Stan because of his calm, professional demeanor. This made it easy to work with him year after year.
Stan was an example of how to enjoy the job, have deep meaningful collaborations and achieve a high quality product consistently.